Many people come to see us after they have suffered an injury, and we are happy to help them; but many of these injuries could have been prevented if they had come before they had the injury. A great part of the physiotherapy treatment protocol has to do with injury prevention. We will take a look at some ways we can help you prevent injury.
Proper body mechanics: Muscle strains, especially those of the back, are a frequent reason for people coming to our clinic. Many people strain their backs because they carry and move objects incorrectly. Most people are surprised to learn that they move incorrectly, which is one of the main reasons why they damage their body and get pain. I remember doing a course years ago and the physio said “good movement is not a birthright”. In other words just because you are a human does not mean you know how to move properly!
Improved posture: Poor posture often leads to complaints of back, neck and shoulder pain, because it loads the muscles more. Poor posture may also alter your gait which can lead to back and knee pain. By correcting your posture we can help you avoid all these injuries. It is so common in our world of technology to see people with turtle necks from looking at their smart phones and tablet computers.
Strong knees: Knee pain is usually the result of weak quadriceps muscles, tight hamstring and calf muscles and lack of flexibility in the joint. By giving you a regimen of tailored stretching and strengthening exercises, we can help you avoid injuries such as runner’s knee, patellofemoral pain syndrome, ACL injuries and others. Some of these conditions may also be due to wearing the wrong type of footwear or poor technique. You may need to wear orthotics in your shoes or to modify your technique.
Preventing foot injuries: Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and other foot injuries are usually due to overuse or overtraining that puts stress on the tendons and ligaments, leading to pain and injury. Calluses under the feet, leg-length discrepancy, tight calf and hamstring muscles, over-pronation or over-supination can all signal the onset of these injuries. Physiotherapy can help with specially tailored exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles involved and advise you on proper footwear and technique.
Preventing shin splints: At the first sign of pain along the inside of the lower leg you should take a few days off exercise. You can cross train during this time while we teach you how to stretch and strengthen your calves and shin muscles. You may also need to replace your running shoes.
At Canton Beach Physio we are big advocates on teaching you how to self treat so you can get out of pain, prevent pain and improve your quality of life. These are strategies that physios and other health professionals use on themselves but do not teach their clients. Why don’t they teach their clients? I think they want the client to be fully reliant on them to fix the problem. When Paul Smith was on clinical placement, he got marked down for showing a client how to use a massage ball to release their thigh muscle. The client was so excited they could manage their injury. But the physio in charge was not happy. He said to Paul “We don’t do that kind of thing here”. He couldn’t believe it!
We believe everyone should know how to look after their own body and we will do our best to show you every trick in the book.
Just like there are many different types of injuries, there are many ways to avoid them. As the old adage reminds us that prevention is better than cure, so please call your Physiotherapist at Canton Beach Physio on 02 4396 5686 or visit our clinic at 20 Canton Beach Road in Toukley and we’ll show you how to enjoy doing the things you do without risk of pain or injury.